How Can Facility Emissions Assessments Support Cannabis Emissions Benchmarking?

by Byers Scientific | August 31, 2021 | Blog | Cannabis

Recently, the cannabis market has made huge strides, and new data suggests demand will only continue to rise. According to Forbes, the legal market is projected to pull in $43 billion by 2025. Alongside the typical struggles of any emerging industry, cannabis cultivators also face two unique challenges: managing odor complaints and concerns about sustainable cultivation. 

Luckily, Byers Scientific’s use of industry-advancing facility emissions assessments to provide cannabis emissions benchmarking tools with the appropriate data and metrics to help cultivators make informed decisions, navigate relationships with communities and regulators and set environmental sustainability goals are leading the industry.

Understanding a facility’s cannabis emissions profile and gas-phase emission rate feeds into existing cannabis emissions benchmarking tools for determining environmental sustainability practices, such as more efficient emissions and odor control solutions.

The basics of cannabis emissions benchmarking

Commercial cannabis cultivation as an industry is an undeniable driver of more stringent emissions regulation. As such, it’s increasingly important for commercial cannabis cultivators to understand the types and quantities of emissions coming from their facilities to determine metrics for setting benchmarks to achieve more sustainable levels of emissions.

Byer Scientific’s Byers Emissions Analysis division uses cannabis facility assessments to qualify and quantify plant emissions that can be used to inform efficiency strategies and set cannabis  emissions benchmarks aimed at reducing negative impacts from emissions and odor.

What is emissions benchmarking?

Every cannabis facility has a unique emissions profile. This profile includes the types, quantities, and sources of various emissions. Understanding a cannabis facility’s emissions profile and gas-phase emission rate provides critical data required for emissions benchmarking and the monitoring and measurement of the effectiveness of sustainability initiatives.

How are cannabis emissions benchmarks determined? 

The Byers Emission Analysis team uses comprehensive techniques and scientifically-advanced   field and lab equipment to conduct on-site emissions sampling and analysis. Using EPA protocols and comparing with NIST authentic standards for over 100 chemical compounds, our team of experts can identify and quantify the exact makeup of emissions off-gassing from the plants.

This data is then analyzed to provide a variety of insights for cultivators, including: 

  • Quantified specific on-site  VOCs that contribute to indoor and outdoor air quality 
  • Estimated  facility gas-phase concentrations
  • Modeling of site-specific atmospheric emissions
  • Detailed recommendations for the type and exact number of odor control units needed to mitigate those odors and emissions 

The benefits of emissions benchmarking for cannabis cultivators 

While we firmly believe that knowledge is power, there are some specific ways in which cannabis emissions benchmarking empowers cannabis cultivators.

Overcoming odor complaints

One of the biggest liability issues cultivators come up against are odor complaints from neighboring communities.

As a risk mitigation strategy, data-backed cannabis emissions benchmarking can be used to devise and measure the effectiveness of emissions and odor control strategies aimed at preventing odor breakthrough and subsequent community odor complaints.

Without the data necessary to set cannabis emissions benchmarks, it is impossible for cultivators to achieve quantifiable environmental sustainability goals and defend themselves against possible negative emissions impacts, such as community odor complaints.    

A molecular-level understanding of odor-causing cannabis emissions that is gained from a Byers Emissions Analysis facility emissions assessment allows for the deployment of comprehensive odor control technologies measured against set benchmarks for that specific facility. 

Having the data at your fingertips to prove sustainable odor and emissions reduction efforts are successful can go a long way in working with communities and regulators. 

Using data to build sustainable cultivation practices 

While carbon filters have long been considered the industry standard for mitigating odorous emissions, these filters are often installed arbitrarily. Further, the type of carbon matters as does the particular application as in many instances, molecular filtration alone is inadequate and the use of Byers Scientific’s patented vapor-phase technology alone or in combination with molecular filtration is necessary. The use of improper odor mitigation strategies and equipment can significantly contribute to the excessive use of energy by cannabis operations.  

Cannabis facilities are a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. But measuring and quantifying facility emissions helps businesses make informed decisions and plan for more energy efficiency goal-setting through dialed-in odor and emissions control utilization. 

When it comes to creating sustainable goals and practices, targeted use of control equipment that inevitably draws energy can go a long way in decreasing a facility’s carbon footprint.

As it relates to cannabis emissions benchmarking for energy efficiency at cultivation facilities, knowing the emission load or gas-phase emission rate coming from your specific cultivation facility allows for the calculation of the exact number of required emissions mitigation systems that would be necessary to trap emissions at the rate they are emitted before they have a chance to escape into atmosphere. This dialed-in calculation for your emissions mitigation systems saves unnecessary energy usage.

Empowering growth through data-driven compliance

Connect with the Byers Scientific team to learn more about how our cannabis facility emissions assessments provide the necessary quantification of emissions to begin the benchmarking process.